Page 1671 - Week 05 - Thursday, 2 June 2022
The Directorate has strong partnerships with community stakeholders to raise awareness of mental illness and promote help seeking behaviours. Programs include Mental Health and Me and UR FaB.
ACT public schools can also access a range of mental health programs through organisations such as Menslink, the Canberra Police Community Youth Club and Mental Illness Education ACT (MIEACT).
2) Schools have the discretion to choose the programs appropriate to the identified needs of their students. Centralised data on programs is not collected.
3) The ACT Government holds a range of service funding agreements with MIEACT to provide mental health education and promotion programs for schools, higher education institutions and for adults, targeted at workplaces and community groups.
In 2021-22, ACTHD will be providing $875,505 to MIEACT for mental health education and promotion programs for youth and adults. However, this funding does not specifically include funding for Thriving Minds which is a child focussed program.
4) The ACT HD does not provide specific funding for Thriving Minds but does provide funding for MIEACT with a range of mental health education and promotion programs delivered in high schools.
5) The ACT Government considers that the ANU evaluation of the program demonstrates the promise of the Thriving Minds program.
6) The ACT Education Directorate is committed to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of all students. Social Emotional Learning programs are part of curriculum which give students skills to manage emotions, maintain positive relationships and set and achieve positive goals. Schools can select which programs are best suited to the needs of their students. ACT public schools are also provided supports through the school psychology service.
Following the Review of Children and Young People in the ACT, the ACT Government is committed to advocating for mental health programs in primary schools. To commence this and to understand the evidence for mental health programs targeting 8–12-year-olds, the Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing undertook a Literature Review which is currently being finalised.
7) The Office for Mental Health and Wellbeing works closely with the ACT Education Directorate and organisations such as Be You to consider the potential impacts of the pandemic on young people in the ACT for future collective planning. Presently, there is limited scientific evidence on the long-term impacts to support long-term, evidence-based decision making regarding the impacts on the Pandemic on the mental health of students.
8) COVID-19 has impacted each of our schools and students in various ways. The Education Directorate continues to provide support to individual students as required through members of the wellbeing teams, which includes a school psychologist. Presently, there is limited scientific evidence on the long-term impacts to support long-term, evidence-based decision making.